What are the benefits of studying EAA/T online? Online study is a modern inspirational learning tool for continual personal development which allows practitioners to connect with each other, and engage in the latest theory and practice in their own time.
Ideas will flow as the subject matter comes to life. Sharing ideas and collaborating will provide opportunities to embrace proven tools for best practice and develop new tools for personal practice. Our online study programs will ultimately bring together the best practitioners, leaders and trainers.
Does the current practitioner training meet the needs of clients and stakeholders?
Are EAA/T curricula providing prospective EAA/T practitioners with opportunities to embrace and generate new knowledge and build a strong practical experience?
During the past eighteen years I have witnessed the countless benefits of horseback riding for innumerable challenged riders through the teaching and treatment modality of Therapeutic Riding. The challenged or special learner, now, the horseback rider has the experience of performing as a normal person, (i.e. being mobile, independent of others and free), and having the opportunity to actively participate in and upon the environment. The rider can improve self-image, self-respect, and self-esteem. He is motivated by a sense of achievement, and experiences pure joy and carefree pleasure.
It can be said that EAA/T began many centuries ago, when humans first realized the importance of their relationship with horses. The horse was drawn into every aspect of their life, and became relied upon for power, performance, pleasure, food and health. Emerging from the time of images, myths and magic, the horse became known as an excellent exerciser. Since Hippocrates, doctors have suggested the horse be used to exercise people and raise their spirts. Some even suggested it was good for digestion, while others, found the movement to resemble that of humans, and must be good for all life activities. Today, EAA/T was developed through two models – the German and British model, and then shortly afterwards came the American Model.
Fear is “hard-wired into our brains and represents a genetic wisdom designed to protect us from bodily harm. It activates a survival system in our bodies that immediately bypasses our rational mind and moves us into “attack” mode. This state of alert causes us to perceive almost everything in our world as a possible threat to our survival. In this state, we tend to see everyone and everything as a possible enemy. Fear exaggerates and distorts our thinking as we narrow our focus to those things that can harm us and becomes the lens through which we see the world.
Why a Foundation Series?
Most EAA/T Practitioners are passionate about their horses, but sometimes find it more difficult to access this same passion when working with their challenged individuals. If they have the opportunity to first explore their own issues and why they chose to work as an EAA.T practitioner, I believe that this will lead them to being a more effective practitioner with a deeper understanding of how and why they should instruct, teach, or provide therapy for a challenged person. This Foundation series will provide the insights and learnings that will motivate practitioners to do a more effective job.
The Foundation Series focuses on such topics as
The role of the EAA/T practitioner is to support the clients in coping with real-life-issues. In order to do this effectively, the practitioner must not only have a deep understanding of themselves, but they must also know and understand the common objectives of their work, and be able to plan individualized, achievable therapeutic aims and objectives for each client. It goes without saying that they must have knowledge and an understanding of the horse or horses they are working with, in order to build a successful partnership that will ensure a safe and positive EAA/T service. In this Zoom lecture, I will offer some thoughts for personal reflection and suggest some strategies for assisting our challenged riders.
Do no harm: You are unlikely to do harm to your client/rider if you follow mounting and dismounting procedures to the best of your ability and judgement, and always consider how the chosen method benefits that specific challenged individual. It is vital that practitioners recognize mounting is the overture to the whole therapeutic session and as such underpins everything that follows.
Major EAA/T organizations have written their own procedures for safe mounting and dismounting. In this Zoom lecture, I will delve more deeply into detailed mounting and dismounting procedures.
Globally, most EAA/T Centers rely on volunteer leaders and side walkers. Without volunteers, EAA/T centers throughout the world would not be able to function. The many thousands of volunteers are genuinely appreciated and regarded as extremely precious. It is part of any practitioner’s role to make volunteers welcome, motivated and feel part of the team. It is vital that they give time to training volunteers, so that they understand their role both in the arena, and in the environment of the EAA/T center. Practitioners and EAA/T centers should always ensure that their volunteers are rewarded for their work. In this lecture, I will share the ways practitioners must integrate the volunteers as full partners in the work.
This study provides EAA/T practitioners with an in depth look at the Therapeutic Riding Horse. Therapeutic riding horses need to be well cared for in a safe environment, well trained and healthy so that they can trust their human partners and enjoy their work with challenged riders.
Horses are the foundation of any EAA/T session. Their characteristics, conformation and character determine the quality of the service provided. Practitioners must understand and know the horses, in terms of anatomy, kinesiology, nature and training. In order to benefit challenged riders, the practitioner must acquire sufficient knowledge of all aspects of their working horses.
The ethical welfare of the Therapeutic Horse is central any EAA/T program. It is the ethical responsibility of all EAA/T practitioners while working in EAA/T settings to manage the welfare of all equine partners.
This often-overlooked subject is the focus of this study and will help the EAA/T practitioner to fully understand and embrace the highest standards in terms of horse welfare.
The role of reflective practice is crucial to any EAA/T session.
This study will look at the what, how and why of Reflective Practice.
The memory of my life with Sara convinced me to write this article, which attempts to explain the importance of understanding horse language, behaviors, and how they value their space.
Sara was in my life for thirty-seven years and was my constant companion who taught me a great deal about horse communication and how to think positively about life. Writing this article, I am offering some practical tips which may help those who wish to enjoy the company of their horses, take care of them or participate in various types of horseback riding activities. If you can spend time trying to understand the language, behaviors, and how they value their space, you will find that you can communicate with horses, enjoy their relaxing companionship while building that precious human-horse bond.
Who is a Specialist?
A specialist, or expert, is anyone who has a particular skill, or knows a lot about a specific subject or activity. They have mastered and devoted time and/or research to that specific skill, subject or activity, in a sufficient manner in order to be able to provide expertise through performance, discussion, or in-depth analysis.
Why should EAA/T practitioners strive to be specialists in their field of practice?
It is important for EAA/T practitioners, whether certified in another profession or not, to gain extensive knowledge and skills relating to EAA/T theory and practice.
EAA/T practitioners must raise the level of their performance from competency to expertise through continued professional development (CPD). It is vital for the professional EAA/T practitioner to keep up to date with new methods of teaching and learning.
For Youth At-Risk academic life can be exceptionally challenging. Many drop out of the educational system and are left vulnerable, unmotivated, and unable to find satisfactory employment, training, and advancement.
In response to this issue, I developed an active learning program for teenagers that offered a school matriculation course for Equine Studies with the possibility of maximum points. This course was divided into three parts and was considered an agricultural science exam through which the students studied the inside and out of a horse, their environment, and comparing their form and development to other farm animals and birds. The aim of the course was to raise their self- esteem and allow them to develop a critical consciousness so that they too would have that sense of ownership, accomplishment, feeling that they were on a par with others by studying for and passing a valuable high school matriculation exam. In this Zoom lecture, I will explain the elements of the course and its specific impact upon the students.
In 1984, when I started working with clients who have paraplegia, I was able to observe the outstanding benefits of EAA/T. Each rider enjoyed a renewed sense of freedom, independence which enabled them to participate again in meaningful challenging activity. By way of example of profound outcomes that may be achieved with this client group: in 1994, I took a paraplegic rider to the Riding for the Disabled World Championships in the U.K. During his training and riding experiences, he was told by his doctors that he no longer needed calcium pills to replace his calcium loss from his bones. This was due to the fact that he was now regularly out of the wheelchair and doing a strenuous activity. This increased physical activity had stopped bone degeneration and he was much happier and healthier, as well being physically stronger. Paraplegic riders find the benefits of horseback riding outweighs the risks. The horse provides them with legs and the joy received nourishes the soul.
Whilst this study focuses on my work with Veterans (ex-Military) the principles are generic in terms of working with clients experiencing PTSD from other traumas such as domestic or sexual abuse.
Since 1985, I have been working with veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury.
In this study I will share my knowledge and experience in order to help other practitioners have the joy of watching a person with TBI grow in mind, body and soul from their EAA/T sessions.
EAA/T plays an important and unique role for clients who have suffered a TBI.
Using teaching techniques that include bonding with the horse and classical riding skills, clients with TBI can regain skills of normal daily living. Through relational and non-verbal communication with the horse, a TBI sufferer can regain self-regulation and management, body awareness and body skills by using perceptual, cognitive, sensory motor skills. Riding the horse provides learning situations that rebuild focus, perception, planning ahead and sensory motor skills that provide the opportunity for the rider with TBI to reestablish life again.